Tagged “Policy”

Melanie Olmstead

Early Education Takes Center Stage

With so much attention being paid to college and career readiness, the importance of early childhood education should not be overlooked. In the new issue of Policy Priorities, ASCD explores the significance of early childhood education and details the challenges of expanding access and ensuring equitable services for all children. The brief also provides updates on how educators and policymakers are working to improve the quality of early education through standards implementation, rigorous licensing, new accountability, and greater alignment with K–12 systems, all while recognizing the importance of developmentally appropriate strategies. Read the full issue.

Read more »

Gerald A. Lieberman

Fitting the Environment in Education: A Bipartisan Approach?

Once rare, it has now become commonplace to hear news reports and conversations about global climate change, loss of habitat and endangered species, dwindling regional supplies of clean fresh water, and local sewage or hazardous waste spills. This growing concern and awareness about the state of our environment has led to a multitude of complex government regulations and tax policies like those that encourage businesses and homeowners to add solar panels to their homes, require utility companies to undertake habitat restoration projects, and compel cities to implement recycling programs. Environmental issues that—until recently—were viewed as nonpartisan are now often catalysts for partisan wrangling, adding another layer of complexity to any measure directed at ameliorating the impacts of human activity on the environment.

Read more »

Melanie Olmstead

From Educator Evaluation to Empowerment

Do you worry that the rush to implement new educator evaluation systems puts excessive strain on educators and compromises the systems' effectiveness? You aren't alone. In his latest column, ASCD Executive Director Gene Carter writes that evaluating educators "must occur alongside efforts to improve school climate, raise expectations for all students, and boost family and community engagement." Read the column to see why ASCD believes all educator evaluation systems should evaluate teachers only in the subjects they teach, include multiple measures, and inform personalized professional development.

Read more »

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

2013 Best of the Blog: 10–6

In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life.

Read more »

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

2013 Best of the Blog: 15–11

In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life.

Read more »

Sean Slade

Thoughts from #PISA2012, Take Two

PISA assesses the extent to which 15-year-old students have acquired key knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. The results should be used as one measure of a country's overall evaluation of its education system and not serve as a league table. Yet information and greater understanding are there if we care to look and discuss the results honestly.

Read more »

Sean Slade

Thoughts from #PISA2012

Whatever differences we may read in the PISA results that were released today, here's a sampling of quotes from the U.S. report (PDF) from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to put things in perspective. Each could be a blog post on their own and each serves up some interesting pieces of information.

Read more »

Melanie Olmstead

Sharing Blue Ribbon Strategies for Success

New one-page profiles of the 2013 National Blue Ribbon schools highlight each school's mission, demographics, culture, and goals.

The 286 schools—210 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, 53 high schools, and one K–12 school—represent promising ideas in different settings, from rural areas to major cities. Schools were recognized in one of two categories: Exemplary High Performing, based on overall academic excellence, or Exemplary Improving, grounded in improving student achievement. Now in its 31st year, the program celebrates schools that serve as admirable examples of the United States' vision and commitment to education.

Read more »

Steven Weber

Common Core: An Educator’s Perspective

If the state of North Carolina decides to pull the plug on the Common Core State Standards, it will be a slap in the face to the teachers and administrators who have spent countless hours (most on their own time without reimbursement) preparing to implement the Common Core State Standards to maximize learning for 1.5 million students.

On June 2, 2010, the North Carolina State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which were implemented during the 2012–13 school year. The CCSS represent K–12 learning expectations in English language arts and mathematics. They reflect the knowledge and skills students need to be college and career ready by the end of high school. Over the past few months, elected officials across the United States are beginning to question the CCSS. On June 4, 2013, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest posted a YouTube video outlining his concerns.

While standing in the car rider line at an elementary school, I was approached by a classroom teacher. She asked, "Are we going to align our curriculum, instruction, and assessments to the Common Core State Standards next year?" I replied, "yes." Then I said, "The Common Core is not going away." The teacher replied, "The Lieutenant Governor is discussing eliminating the Common Core." I replied, "Which Lieutenant Governor?" The teacher said, "The North Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Dan Forest."

Read more »

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Early Childhood Education: Balancing Expectations and What Young Learners Really Need

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

What does "education" mean for our youngest learners? The first years of school are as important for an educated population as any other period, perhaps more. Additionally, research shows that implementation of high-quality preschool programs can be beneficial for the lifelong development of children in low-income families and that an upfront commitment to early education provides returns to society that are many times more valuable than the original investment.

With the current focus on standards and academic achievement, is learning and testing coming too early? Curriculum and assessment should be based on the best knowledge of theory and research about how children develop and learn, with attention given to individual children's needs and interests within a group and in relation to program goals. In this episode, we discuss the importance of early childhood education and the specific social, cognitive, and emotional needs these learners have that are different from those of older learners. You'll hear from

  • Thomas Armstrong is an award-winning author and speaker with more than 40 years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level. More than 1 million copies of his books are in print on issues related to learning and human development, including the 2012 ASCD book, Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Achieve Success in School and Life.
  • Laura Bornfreund is a senior policy analyst for the New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative. Bornfreund examines early education (birth through grade 3) studies and policies and researches and writes original policy papers. She contributes to Early Ed Watch, the Early Education Initiative's blog, writing on a variety of education policy topics including the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; federal education grant programs; teacher preparation, retention, and support; kindergarten; and early childhood assessment.
  • Walter McKenzie is a lifelong learner, teacher, leader, and connector. A director of Constituent Services for ASCD, McKenzie served 25 years in public education as a classroom teacher, instructional technology coordinator, director of technology, and assistant superintendent for information services. He is internationally known for his work on multiple intelligences and technology and has published various books and articles on the subject.
  • Jennifer Orr is a 1st-grade teacher at Annandale Terrace Elementary School in Fairfax County, Va. A National Board Certified Teacher in middle childhood, Orr has taught 4th, 5th, and 1st grades since 1998. In 2012 she received the International Society for Technology in Education's Kay L. Bitter Vision Award for being a K–2 educator bringing technology into the classroom effectively and with innovation. She is also an ASCD Emerging Leader and member of its 2013 class.
  • Wendy Ostroff is a cognitive psychology, child development, and metacognition expert and author of the 2012 ASCD book, Understanding How Young Children Learn: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom. Ostroff has been developing curricula on children’s learning for the past 15 years in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University; in the Department of Education and Child Study at Smith College; and, most recently, as associate professor in the program for the Advancement of Learning at Curry College.

If early childhood is where we begin to build skills and behaviors such as persistence, empathy, collaboration, and problem solving, are we teaching in developmentally appropriate ways?

Share |

Blog Archive

Blog Tags